Sibille Attar On ‘Paloma’s Hand’ & Going Solo

Swedish indie artist Sibille Attar went solo about five years ago, but only released her sophomore album this year. Why’d it take so long?

“I’ve been really collecting myself,” a jetlagged Attar tells BTRtoday between sips of coffee. She’d just gotten off the plane from Sweden earlier that day and was only in New York to attend a friend’s wedding.

Attar released her debut solo LP Sleepyhead in 2013 on Universal/ Stranded Records, two labels that were too big for her.

Sleepy Head was my first attempt [at going solo] and I got signed to a big label and it was kind of overwhelming,” she says. “Being told what to do was not my favorite thing, which meant it was a lot of unnecessary struggles, and I realized I should be independent … So I had to recollect myself—I was questioning my entire motive of doing music at all because I thought the industry was so shitty.”

The pressures coming from the labels pushed her further away from recording her follow-up. She never stopped writing songs but became uncertain about exposing them to the public. “I kind of lost my confidence,” she says. “When everyone starts having opinions on what you do … I started questioning myself.”

When she switched to the small independent label PNK SLM, her confidence returned, along with her passion and the fire she needed to start recording again.

This spring, Attar released her sophomore album Paloma’s Hand, which shows off a bold take on her signature mix melancholy and self-empowerment. Tracks like “I Don’t Have To” and “Run” paint a tragic story of heartbreak with strings dramatically layered behind Attar’s soothing vocals singing, “I don’t have to, I don’t have to love you.”

Sibille Attar “I Don’t Have To”

Attar isn’t afraid to wear hear feelings on her sleeve. Still, she confesses that her music making isn’t as complicated as you may think.

“I’m not going to reinvent the wheel,” she says about her songwriting process. “It’s a cliché answer, but I think the process of making things happen gives a lot back.” Attar says she will take a melody stuck in her head or a lyric she wrote down somewhere and use that production part as the inspiration for the rest of the song.

Though she’s taking a break from touring and only playing a few shows now and then in her hometown in Sweden, Attar says she’s already writing her next album and is very excited. “I’m writing new stuff in my brain right now,” she says. “ And I feel so much more secure now.”

Tune in to this week’s The Music Meetup to hear Paloma’s Hand in its entirety and the full interview with Sibille Attar.